Frances Burwell

  • After Paris, Will the United States and Europe Give Migrants the Cold Shoulder?

    Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell and Faysal Itani say despite calls for stronger screening, some terrorists will inevitably get through

    The discovery of a Syrian passport near the scene of a suicide bombing in Paris on Nov. 13 and confirmation that one of the attackers had entered Europe as part of a wave of hundreds of thousands of migrants has put a spotlight on the security implications of the migrant influx. Despite calls for tougher measures, including stricter border controls and background checks for migrants fleeing war zones, it is unlikely that a failsafe method can be developed to prevent attacks like the ones in Paris.

    “Unfortunately, the phenomenon of ‘foreign fighters’ makes it most likely that future terrorists in the United States and Europe will be citizens who travel on their own passports, rather than those entering illegally or under pretense,” said Fran Burwell, Vice President of European Union and Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council.

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  • David Cameron Wants EU to Reform. Will He Get His Way?

    British Prime Minister unlikely to get his way on curbing welfare payments to EU migrants, says Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell

    British Prime Minister David Cameron will likely get some of his demands for reform of the European Union, but on at least one — curbing welfare payments for EU citizens migrating to the United Kingdom — he is likely to face considerable pushback, said Fran Burwell, Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives at the Atlantic Council.

    Cameron, in a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk on Nov. 10, presented four goals for reforming the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. He wants to increase economic competitiveness within the EU, a larger role for national parliaments, safeguards for countries that do not use the euro, and to slow migration by other EU citizens to the United Kingdom by curbing welfare payments for four years.

    “Things like competitiveness is the direction Europe wants to go in any way,” said Burwell.

    But Cameron will find it more difficult to get his way on removing the words “ever closer union” from European treaties and barring immigrants from other EU countries from social welfare benefits for four years, she said.

    “The obstacle he is more likely to face is the charge at home that he has not been ambitious enough. There are those in Britain who want a total remake of the relationship, and I don’t think he comes close to that,” she added.

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  • Burwell on the EU Refugee Crisis Summit

    International Business Times quotes Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell on the upcoming EU refugee crisis summit and why EU countries are more focused on immediate solutions:

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  • Burwell on the European Union and TTIP

    Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell joins the CATO Institute to discuss the geopolitical and security implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP):

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  • Burwell: European Union Lacks Authority on Refugee Crisis

    The Associated Press quotes Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell on the European Union’s approach to the Syrian refugee crisis:

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  • Will the European Union’s Plan to Distribute Migrants Hurt Europe?

    European ministers on September 22 approved a plan that would force EU member states to take in their share of 120,000 migrants, a majority of whom are fleeing the war in Syria.

    In an unusual break from procedure, which emphasizes consensus on issues of national sovereignty, the ministers decided the issue on the basis of majority rules. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia voted against the plan. Finland abstained.

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  • Burwell on European Migrant Crisis

    The StarTribune quotes Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell on the European Union's response to the migrant crisis:

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  • Europe Grapples with the Migrant Question

    As war and poverty fuel surge in migration, Europe debates immigration, integration, and identity

    As the world faces its biggest migrant crisis since World War II, governments across Europe are struggling to find a solution to a situation that is as much about integration and identity as it is about immigration.

    The European Union (EU) will hold an emergency meeting September 14 to discuss how to resettle 40,000 refugees that are already in Europe and 20,000 displaced persons who are currently in camps outside the continent. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will propose increasing that number to 160,000 in his September 9 State of the Union speech.

    Even if an agreement on resettlement is reached, the number in question is just a drop in the bucket, said Fran Burwell, Vice President and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations program.

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  • Burwell on Europe's Ongoing Migrant Crisis

    Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell joins NPR's The Diane Rehm Show to discuss Europe's ongoing migrant and refugee crisis and the future of open borders:

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  • In Greece, It’s Splitsville for Syriza

    Greek voters will line up behind Alexis Tsipras in next election, says Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell

    Greek voters will rally behind Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who lost part of his Syriza party August 21 after he was forced by creditors to abandon his anti-austerity stance, says the Atlantic Council’s Fran Burwell.

    “My guess is that the Greek people will opt to remain in the eurozone and will vote for mainstream Syriza,” said Burwell, who is the Vice President and Director of Transatlantic Relations at the Atlantic Council.

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